Many Bad Bots Mimic Human Behavior - eMarketer

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Many Bad Bots Mimic Human Behavior

Bad bots are also able to load external assets, like Javascript

April 11, 2016

While almost two-thirds of bad bots worldwide behave like bots, roughly 40% are able to mimic human behavior, according to 2015 research.

Share of Bad Bots* Worldwide that Mimic Human Behavior vs. Behave Like Bots, 2015 (% of total traffic examined by Distil Networks)

Bot detection and mitigation services provider Distil Networks gathered data from 2015 activity tracked by its network, including 74 billion bad bot threats as well as good bots and human traffic.

In addition to looking at the share of bad bots—machine-generated web traffic deployed to purposefully inflate traffic counts, including fraud, spam and web-scraping bots—worldwide that mimicked human behavior vs. typical bot behavior, the data also looked the share of bad bots worldwide that are able to load external assets, like a JavaScript file.

More than half (53%) of bad bots are able to do so. And these bad bots will end up falsely attributing as humans in Google Analytics and similar tools, per Distil Networks.

Human vs. Bot Internet Traffic Share Worldwide, by Daily Site Visits, July 24-Oct 21, 2015 (% of total traffic tracked by Incapsula)

When looking at bot traffic, it varies on a website’s popularity. Overall, humans account for more than half of all website traffic, according to research from Imperva. The company reported that 51.5% of total traffic tracked on its network—between July 24 and October 21—came from humans. Bad bots, attack tools that increase activity on popular websites, accounted for 29.0% of total traffic and good bots, information gatherers used by organizations, accounted for 19.5%.

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